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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quilting Over the Rainbow: Mug Rug Swap #2

This is Mug Rug swap number two! 

The Lakeland Modern Quilt Guild is swapping mug rugs with the Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild.  For the less geographically inclined, that's in Australia!  Their guild outnumbers ours, so I committed to making more than one mug rug. 

First up:  hexies!

I started this particular mug rug before I knew that the Brisbane guild requested a "quilting over the rainbow" theme.  I ordered an Ashton Road charm pack from Connecting Threads to get started.  I find that 5 inch charms are the perfect size for English Paper Piecing, because each square is enough to cover 4 of the 1 inch hexies. 

Here's my little stack of 2.5 inch squares, ready to be basted. 

This time around, I used a new product: Simple Shapes by June Tailor. 

This is a pack of 1 inch hexagons (meaning each side is one inch long).  You thread baste your fabric onto the templates, which are heat-safe.  That's my favorite thing about these--they stood up to my iron without distorting or warping the least bit.  You can't say that about standard template plastic! 

Well, you stitch the hexies together in the usual manner.  This was my first time using Ivisafil thread--I looooove it!  It is a 100 weight polyester thread that is virtually invisible.  This gave me a lot of leeway when piecing, because the threads are only slightly visible on the front. 

For the most part, I enjoyed using these templates.  The only drawback I found with them is their thickness.  While I appreciated how sturdy (yet still flexible!) they were, the thickness was occasionally an obstacle.  I did not find this to be enough of an annoyance to discontinue using them.  I am still learning EPP, so I have yet to decide on my favorite.  I'll be sure to let you know when I do, though. 

I always say that hand piecing deserves hand quilting, so this little guy got the hand quilting treatment.  This was my first time using YLI hand quilting thread, and I enjoyed it.  It's bit difficult to find around here, so I probably won't go out of my way to find it, though.

I did some simple chunky echo quilting about a quarter inch from each seam.    I bound it (sorry, binding is not my forte!) and made a little hexie label that I appliqued onto the back.

I used my Pigma archival ink pen to write the label.

Next up: an actual rainbow-themed mug rug.  For this, I turned to EPP again.  I decided to go with 1 inch diamonds this time:

I cut out what felt like a zillion little diamonds and was very ambitious with the design.  This is what I ended up making:

Sometimes, you just run out of time!  This was my first time using diamonds as an EPP shape, so I was unfamiliar with the "dog ears" you get from those acute angles.  One thing I learned: NEVER clip those "dog ears!"  They're meant to be tucked underneath, not cut off, as I found out the hard way.

You might be able to tell from this photo how some of the points started to fray.  This is due to my error in clipping the "dog ears."  I started to applique the star onto a white background by hand, but ended up using a narrow zigzag stitch on my machine:

Now for the quilting: I was really, really crunched for time, so rather than binding this particular mug rug, I opted to turn it and topstitch around the edge.

I did a little echo quilting around the star (in this photo, I've used a Frixion pen to mark my lines) in white thread. 

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I forgot to take close-up photographs of the mug rugs before I turned them over to the guild president for delivery.  Here's Leandra showing off my mug rugs to the rest of the guild at our meeting:

So, to those who end up receiving these, I hope you're not too disappointed with them, and I thank you for an opportunity to improve my skills on these fun little mug rugs!  I'd love to hear from you.  Until next time, God Bless.

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